Faulkner's technique throughout the novel is to present short individual sections in which some character gives his thoughts about the events that are taking place. Each section is an "interior monologue," an attempt to reproduce what the character might be actually thinking. Therefore, if the character is in the presence of other people, often his thoughts will be interrupted by the conversation and often the character will record that conversation before continuing with his line of thinking. In its largest view, the novel will concern itself with the death of Addie Bundren and the long arduous journey that the family undertakes in order to bury her in Jefferson, a town forty miles away.
Table of Contents Plot Overview Addie Bundren, the wife of Anse Bundren and the matriarch of a poor southern family, is very ill, and is expected to die soon.
Shortly after Darl and Jewel leave, Addie dies.
With some help, Cash completes the coffin just before dawn. A funeral service is held on the following day, where the women sing songs inside the Bundren house while the men stand outside on the porch talking to each other.
Darl, who narrates much of this first section, returns with Jewel a few days later, and the presence of buzzards over their house lets them know their mother is dead. On seeing this sign, Darl sardonically reassures Jewel, who is widely perceived as ungrateful and uncaring, that he can be sure his beloved horse is not dead.
Cash, who has broken his leg on a job site, helps the family lift the unbalanced coffin, but it is Jewel who ends up manhandling it, almost single-handedly, into the wagon.
Due to severe flooding, the main bridges leading over the local river have been flooded or washed away, and the Bundrens are forced to turn around and attempt a river-crossing over a makeshift ford. Vernon Tull sees the wreck, and helps Jewel rescue the coffin and the wagon from the river.
Addie herself, speaking either from her coffin or in a leap back in time to her deathbed, recalls events from her life: The family continues on its way. In the town of Mottson, residents react with horror to the stench coming from the Bundren wagon.
While the family is in town, Dewey Dell tries to buy a drug that will abort her unwanted pregnancy, but the pharmacist refuses to sell it to her, and advises marriage instead. The Bundrens then spend the night at a local farm owned by a man named Gillespie.
The next day, the Bundrens arrive in Jefferson and bury Addie. Dewey Dell tries again to buy an abortion drug at the local pharmacy, where a boy working behind the counter claims to be a doctor and tricks her into exchanging sexual services for what she soon realizes is not an actual abortion drug.
The following morning, the children are greeted by their father, who sports a new set of false teeth and, with a mixture of shame and pride, introduces them to his new bride, a local woman he meets while borrowing shovels with which to bury Addie.As I Lay Dying study guide contains a biography of William Faulkner, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.
About As . As I Lay Dying is told in individual sections, so that the narration of the story shifts from one character to another.
While most sections are narrated by members of the Bundren family, the few that are told by neighbors and other observers offer a glimpse of the family from an outsider's perspective.
As I Lay Dying is a novel, in the genre of Southern Gothic, by American author William Faulkner. Plot summary. The book is narrated by 15 different characters over 59 chapters. It is the story of the death of Addie Bundren and her poor.
As I Lay Dying is told by fifteen different narrators over the course of fifty-nine narrative sections. The first section belongs to Darl Bundren, who introduces us to his brothers Cash and Jewel and his dying mother, Addie.
The Bundrens live on a rural farm in Mississippi in the s. As I Lay Dying is told by fifteen different narrators over the course of fifty-nine narrative sections. The first section belongs to Darl Bundren, who introduces us to his brothers Cash and Jewel and his dying mother, Addie.
The Bundrens live on a rural farm in Mississippi in the s. Book Summary of As I Lay Dying Bookmark this page Manage My Reading List While most sections are narrated by members of the Bundren family, the few that are told by neighbors and other observers offer a glimpse of the family from an outsider's perspective.